Kristin Stiles’ Review of THE TOPSY TURVY KING, by Alison Brewis

Published on October 10, 2023 by Eugene Ho

10Publishing, 2023 | 32 pages

A Book Review from Books At a Glance

by Kristin Stiles


Almost every day we are faced with situations where reality does not meet our expectations. This can be frustrating and disappointing when it is an online purchase or the food in our takeout bag. The first-century Jews, and specifically Jesus’ disciples, had very clear expectations of what the Messiah would be like. He would be a conquering king who came to free them from the rule of the Romans. Surely, He’d be that. Right? Instead, it turned out that the King was a servant; the Conqueror was killed. This is what Alison Brewis explores in her little book The Topsy Turvy King.

Written in sing-songy verse, this book introduces young children to the concept that Jesus wasn’t what the people expected. Jesus didn’t act like the kind of king they wanted. Instead, Jesus taught that the least would be the greatest. He taught and demonstrated that He came to serve and not to be served. And He didn’t end up beating the Romans but was beaten by the Romans. Or so it seemed. Brewis explains that while this was not how the disciples expected the Messiah to behave, this was the plan all along. This was the way that Jesus would provide a means of salvation for His people and that He would ultimately be the king who conquerors more than a nation. He would defeat sin and death.  

This book is a pleasure to read with its simple rhymes and its colorful illustrations, including illustrations of Jesus throughout. It is also very small, measuring only 4 inches by 4 inches — just right for tossing in your bag that you take to the restaurant or on car rides when you need something handy to pull out to entertain your small children. And it is such a great resource to introduce these important points of Christology to those who are so young. These are key features of the gospel message that you can teach in a fun and memorable way. And for all those reasons, I would recommend this book wholeheartedly.


Kristin Stiles is a home-school mom, a Sunday School teacher, and helps lead the “Young, Reading, & Reformed” children’s ministry at Reformed Baptist Church of Franconia, PA.

Buy the books

THE TOPSY TURVY KING, by Alison Brewis

10Publishing, 2023 | 32 pages

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